New Rights for Southern Moms

April 10, 2006

I am running on fumes, as I have not stopped moving since Friday. Thank you all for your well wishes!

On my very short downtime, I was excited to learn about this new progressive law in Mississippi granting rights to breastfeeding moms:

The new law places requirements on child-care facilities, mandating that each of them provide a place – other than a toilet – for mothers to either breast-feed their babies or pump milk. The law says the designated area must have a comfortable chair, an electrical outlet and access to running water.

Day-care centers also must have a refrigerator where the pumped milk may be stored, and they must teach workers how to properly handle it.

The new law also says that the act of breast-feeding in public may not be considered indecent exposure or disorderly conduct. It gives an excuse from jury duty for any mother who is nursing a child under a year old. And, it says employers may not ban a woman from using her lunch break or other normal break times to pump milk that she can give to her baby later.

Apparently, Mississippi’s bill is “probably one of the most progressive breast-feeding related bills passed in the nation,” according to a law student who lobbied for its passage. (That was an eye-opening statement for this true blue Californian!) One Alabama legislator is attempting to pass a similar law in her state after a nursing mother was asked to leave a museum in Huntsville.